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cholla

[chohl-yah, -yuh; Spanish chaw-yah] /ˈtʃoʊl yɑ, -yə; Spanish ˈtʃɔ yɑ/
noun, plural chollas
[chohl-yahz, -yuh z; Spanish chaw-yahs] /ˈtʃoʊl yɑz, -yəz; Spanish ˈtʃɔ yɑs/ (Show IPA)
1.
any of several spiny treelike cacti belonging to the genus Opuntia, especially O. fulgida of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico, having knobby outgrowths and yellow spines.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60, Americanism; < Mexican Spanish cholla head (perhaps < Old French (dial.) cholle ball < Gmc); see keel1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cholla
  • But its first trials are being held here on a desert track that runs amid the cholla cactus and the rattlesnakes.
  • Teddy bear cholla, so named for its fuzzy appearance from a profusion of thorns, perched on the edge of rocky ledges.
  • Pack rats will also fortify their dens with menacing pieces of spiny cholla cactus to fend off coyotes and other malefactors.
  • Historically cholla was considered a famine food, eaten only when food was especially scarce.
  • Be especially careful near cholla cactus, which with the slightest touch, can become embedded in your skin.
  • Another example of commensalism is the relationship between the cactus wren and cholla cacti.
  • Pinyon pine joins a veritable cactus garden of barrel, cholla and prickly pear varieties.
British Dictionary definitions for cholla

cholla

/ˈtʃəʊljɑː; Spanish ˈtʃoʎa/
noun
1.
any of several spiny cacti of the genus Opuntia that grow in the southwestern US and Mexico and have cylindrical stem segments See also prickly pear
Word Origin
Mexican Spanish, from Spanish: head, perhaps from Old French (dialect) cholle ball, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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